The first bill, “A higher subsistence requirement for labour migrants” (Ett höjt försörjningskrav för arbetskraftsinvandrare), was passed with a majority of 244 in favour and 54 against, with only the Centre, Green and Left parties voting against the move to tighten labour migration.
In the debate over the bill, Jonny Cato, from the Centre Party dismissed the government’s claim that the bill would be “a big win for Swedish businesses”, saying that businesses were in fact “extremely worried about where they are going to get their competence.”
“If we look at who these labour migrants with a salary under 33,200 are, who will no longer have permission to stay but will be deported – it is one out of seven systems developers, one of out seven engineers, and one out of seven IT architects. This is highly skilled labour,” he said.
“How will companies be able to get the expertise they need now and not in five years time?”
The bill empowers the government to raise the maintenance requirement for work permit applicants from outside the EU, the Nordic countries and Switzerland above the current 13,000 kronor a month.
It does not propose how much higher the maintenance requirement should be, or propose a date for when the changes should come into force, stating instead that it can be implemented on “the day the government decides”.
Sweden’s Migration Minister Maria Malmer Stenergard has said she intends to do this as soon as possible.
A second bill, on “a strengthened system for coordination numbers”, also passed with 261 votes in favour and only 31 against. Only the Left Party and the Green Party opposed the change.
This bill will make the Swedish Tax Agency wholly responsible for awarding coordination numbers, the numbers given to people living in Sweden who are not yet eligible for a personal number or personnummer.
This should make it easier to keep track of which numbers are held by real people and which are dormant. The bill will also create a new category of “supported identity” coordination numbers, where the holder goes to a Tax Agency office in person with a passport or other identity document and has their identity confirmed.
These should meet a sufficiently high security threshold to allow holders to access BankID, opening the way for them to access a host of services in Sweden.